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According to a popular African saying “Too much of anything is bad”. Interestingly, this quote applies to virtually all facets of life. Eating excessively will make you susceptible to weight gain and a myriad of health problems down the line in the same way eating too little will lead to malnutrition and a weakened immune system. We tend to be aware of this fact in our daily lives yet there are still a good number of practices we may be overlooking and may not have considered how excessive they are, in our lives. One of such practices is sitting.

Sitting has become increasingly commonplace in today’s world thanks to the nature of our jobs and the tasks that often require little or no movement. This has resulted in humans being more inactive than ever before. Unfortunately, prolonged sitting has been linked to quite a good number of health problems. Here are some of them below:

Postural Problems

A prolonged sitting position puts you at risk of developing back, neck, and spine problems due to the stress it places on these parts of the body. When sitting for too long, most people tend to slouch and this often leads to rounded back posture with time. To prevent this, you should try to get up and move around for a short while to remove pressure from your spine and keep it in line. You should also endeavour to maintain good posture when sitting.

Weight Gain

This is one of the most common and less serious effects of sitting for too long but it can lead to problems in the long run. Prolonged sitting hours have been linked to a decrease of Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL) activity which leads to an inability for the body to burn fat This will eventually increase the level of fat storage in the body and stimulate the use of carbohydrates as fuel instead of fat.

Increased Risk Of Cancer

Different forms of cancers including colon, breast, uterine, and endometrial cancers have been linked to prolonged sitting. While the exact correlation is not clear, it has been found that sitting for too long can lead to a higher production of insulin in the body, which stimulates cell growth

The risk of cancer has also been linked to weight gain, hormonal imbalance, inflammation, and metabolic dysfunction – all which can be caused by sedentary behaviour. 

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a deadly blood clot in the leg that is formed as a result of sitting for too long. The clot has a high chance of breaking free and lodging in the lung. DVT can be asymptomatic but some people may notice swelling and pain at the location of the clot which is usually in the lower leg or thigh. This is another convincing reason why one should take short breaks while sitting.

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This article was first published on 19th May 2019 and updated on May 20th, 2019 at 11:46 pm


My name is Samuel Okoruwa. I am an ardent researcher, reading is life and writing is fun.

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